Poetry of Place (8weeks/Online)
Instructor: Visiting Artist Gage Opdenbrouw
January 28-March 18
Thursdays, 2-5 pm EST
This 8-week class will expand and build on the ideas introduced in “A Sense of Place” in my fall 2020 workshop, however, it is not necessary to have participated in that class to join this one. In painting, we deal with so much that is wordless, and one of the compliments I most enjoy is when people say they recognize the light, the feel of a place they know and love. The same way you would recognize an old friend a block away on a city street, just from the way they stand... When that happens I know I’ve hit the right note somewhere. The familiarity, the recognition, the rightness.
I’m always after a painting or a drawing that feels more like a poem than an essay, one that conveys, or better yet, evokes the essence of an experience without spelling it out. Like the feeling of a room or a day, seconds after waking, before there are words and names to organize such sensations.
More and more, I grow convinced that drawing and memory are the key, and so we’ll begin this class by focusing a bit on drawing as a way of exploring design and the drawn notation or language to articulate our ideas and memories, or at least to reach toward them. Like the previous workshop, we will start close to home by working from our immediate surroundings, in immediate sketches, and move into working from memories of travels past. I’ll be thinking mostly in terms of landscape and interiors, views from windows and so on, as vehicles to explore these concerns, but really the subject is the sense of place, so figures in environments are also welcome, and I think a natural way to delve into memory. Artists from Elmer Bischoff to William Bailey come to mind. Simply the times we are living through are a distinct place of their own, psychologically, spiritually, historically. How can painting be an anchor in the simple good, the fall of light, that sustains us?
As our quarantine and inability to travel persists, I’ll dig into my archive of unexplored material from travels the last few years, including places like DC, Philly and Boston, Italy, and the desert southwest as well as my current environs in San Francisco. I hope you'll join us in making a similar exploration of your own with us.”
This class will begin with some drawing and move into painting. Demos and shared images as well as critiques will accompany work time during and in between class sessions.
About Gage Opdenbrouw
Gage Opdenbrouw is a painter whose works bridge representation and abstraction. He aims to distill his imagery to a point of powerful emotional resonance while maintaining a deep sense of mystery, allowing the viewer's experience to be an important part of completing the picture. While his works span many outward subjects, the recurrent subject is the richness and radiant beauty hidden beneath the surface of the observed world, the vastness of the interior worlds, and the resonance between the two. His work is exhibited nationally, and he is featured in the acclaimed book by John Seed, Disrupted Realism. Opdenbrouw was born and raised in San Jose CA, earned an arts degree from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and is currently based in San Francisco.
[artwork: Gage Opdenbrouw, Oakland Studio #4, oil on panel, 22x22]
Once registered, you will receive an email containing information on how to join Zoom 24 hours before or the morning of the start of the class or workshop.